There are two types of happiness—and we’re chasing the wrong one

We’re always chasing something—be it a promotion, a new car, or a significant other. This leads to the belief that, “When (blank) happens, I’ll finally be happy.”

While these major events do make us happy at first, research shows this happiness doesn’t last. A study from Northwestern University measured the happiness levels of regular people against those who had won large lottery prizes the year prior. The researchers were surprised to discover that the happiness ratings of both groups were practically identical.

The mistaken notion that major life events dictate your happiness and sadness is so prevalent that psychologists have a name for it: impact bias. The reality is, event-based happiness is fleeting.

Happiness is synthetic—you either create it, or you don’t. Happiness that lasts is earned through your habits. Supremely happy people have honed habits that maintain their happiness day in, day out. Try out their habits, and see what they do for you:

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The economics of privacy

Perhaps the biggest complaint about tech companies today is that they do not respect our privacy. They gather and store data on us, and in some cases, such as Facebook, they charge companies for the ability to send targeted ads to us. They induce us to self-reveal on the internet, often in ways that are more public than we might at first expect. Furthermore, tech data practices are not entirely appropriate, as for instance Facebook recently stored user passwords in an insecure, plain text format.

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Should love be rational?

Why do you love me? Tell me the reasons.

I love you because you are you. If I loved you for reasons then I wouldn’t love you, but the reasons. I would have to leave you if someone better came along.

Movies, music and novels portray a particular ideal of romantic love almost relentlessly. Love is something that happens to you, something you fall into even against your will or better judgement. It is something to be experienced as good in itself and joyfully submitted to, not something that should be questioned.

Is this person good for me? Would I be good for them? To ask such questions would betray a spirit of rational calculation that has no place in matters of the heart. The only question you should be asking is whether it is the real thing, which can be assessed by the strength of your feelings for the other. For authentic love, no price is too great.

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Six things you don’t owe your boss

The typical workday is long enough as it is, and technology is making it even longer. When you do finally get home from a full day at the office, your mobile phone rings off the hook, and emails drop into your inbox from people who expect immediate responses.

While most people claim to disconnect as soon as they get home, recent research says otherwise. A study conducted by the American Psychological Association found that more than 50% of us check work email before and after work hours, throughout the weekend, and even when we’re sick. Even worse, 44% of us check work email while on vacation.

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What is poop transplant?

Andrew Freinkel, former neurologist and psychiatrist at Stanford University Medical Center

Sometimes, the colon becomes overrun with VERY harmful bacteria which almost overwhelms the immune system. In this procedure, enemas are given to flush the those bacteria. Then, “good” bacteria are put into the colon — tranplanting the bacteria— creating a colony in the gut which is healthy. People who were really sick with colitis become, almost miraculously, better.

World Happiness Report


How much happier would you be if were given a 10% raise?

While money can be a crucial indicator of happiness at lower income levels, Visual Capitalist’s Iman Ghosh notes that studies have found that as incomes rise, money becomes a less important part of the overall happiness equation.

In fact, researchers see happiness as a complex measure that involves many variables outside of material wealth, including social support, freedom, and health.

  1. GDP per capita
  2. Healthy life expectancy
  3. Social support
  4. Freedom of choice
  5. Generosity
  6. Perceptions of corruption

25 quotes about love

“This thing about you that you think is your flaw—it’s the reason I’m falling in love with you.”

—Colleen Hoover, Slammed

“First best is falling in love. Second best is being in love. Least best is falling out of love. But any of it is better than never having been in love.”
—Maya Angelou, author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

“I was falling. Falling through time and space and stars and sky and everything in between. I fell for days and weeks and what felt like lifetime across lifetimes. I fell until I forgot I was falling.”
—Jess Rothenberg, The Catastrophic History of You and Me

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Real People Eat Quiche


Silken custard, flaky crust: quiche Lorraine with Gruyère and pancetta.

I was writing the menu for our lunch service at Prune a few weeks ago and kept crossing out then penciling back in a classic: quiche Lorraine. I just wasn’t quite sure where we stood, as a nation, on the subject these days.

In the ’80s, “quiche eater” was a casual slur to describe feminists and liberals, effeminates and intellectuals alike, prompting T-shirt sloganism and tote-bag activism in response. Grown men wore T-shirts emblazoned with “Real Men Eat Anything” the way they now wear ones that say “The Future Is Female.” You don’t want to go through the considerable work of putting together a warm, trembling, fragrant quiche Lorraine — with a perfect flaky crust and a silken custard streaked with Gruyère and salt pork — to discover that while you were downstairs in the prep kitchen, quiche had been conscripted into some new culture war.

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Why the French don’t show excitement


Not only is ‘Je suis excité’ not the appropriate way to convey excitement in French, but there seems to be no real way to express it at all.

When I was 19 years old, after five years of back-and-forth trips that grew longer each time, I finally relocated officially from the United States to France. Already armed with a fairly good grasp of the language, I was convinced that I would soon assimilate into French culture.

Of course, I was wrong. There’s nothing like cultural nuance to remind you who you are at your core: my Americanness became all the more perceptible the longer I remained in France, and perhaps no more so than the day a French teacher told me his theory on the key distinction between those from my native and adopted lands.

“You Americans,” he said, “live in the faire [to do]. The avoir [to have]. In France, we live in the être [to be].”

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